How do you 'feel' about your career?

As career coaches, we work with professionals and entrepreneurs who are feeling stuck. They know change is needed, but are struggling to identify what this could be. This is when we step in, bringing with us a desire to see our clients create and achieve dream careers or businesses, helping them clarify what a meaningful, rewarding, enjoyable job or career could be. We may, for instance, explore their values, to help align them to a role or organisation that is in sync with their moral or ethical compass. 


Or we may use another key tool, like our power of observation, which illuminates how clients are 'showing up' during sessions, which in turn brings insight and clarity to the things that make our clients most happy. Observing physical and verbal changes in clients can be a revelation. A classic example of such a change might occur when there is a shift in the tone, pitch or speed of a client's speech. Often, as the tone and pitch become more elevated, there's an indication that the current discussion point is exciting, stimulating or engaging.

Once observations have been noted, inward focus allows a client to identify where physical sensations may be occurring in their bodies - almost like an energy shift. Sensing these energy shifts allows clients to recognise and describe their current emotional state. They may, for example, recognise that butterflies in their tummy represents excitement (or perhaps anxiety!).

You can adopt this practice yourself to help you understand more about how you truly feel about work and life. In the case of your job or career, it's about following this approach while you're at work, during or after you have focused on a specific task, interaction or achieved a goal, for instance. 

Start by creating some space for reflection. Take a moment to stop, take some deep breaths and pause. Become more present and connected with yourself in the moment. Look inwards. Try to identify the times when you experience bursts of energy or enthusiasm, a buzz around working on a particular project or piece of work, or when you experience higher levels of satisfaction. How does this feel in your body? How would you describe your current emotional state? What does this tell you about the things that bring you joy?

Tuning into ourselves in this way may not come naturally, so begin by noticing these changes in others. Pay attention to these energy shifts and see how they manifest themselves (verbally, in their expressions and in body language.) These energy shifts indicate something chemical is happening. This leads to emotional shifts, which in turn can lead to behavioural shifts (if you've ever put off a particular task because you find it uninteresting, this would be a good example of how our emotional state can influence what we do, how we do it and when we do it).

Once we're able to recognise these shifts in others, it becomes easier to notice them in ourselves. And when we have a better understanding about how we feel, we get clarity on the aspects of our work that make us happy, which provides insight into what could make a meaningful next move in our careers. 

Here are four easy steps to help you tune into your thoughts, feelings and emotions to get that clarity. 


 Ask yourself some of these questions during your work day:

When do you find yourself most absorbed in what you are doing? When do you feel most satisfaction after completing certain tasks? Which of your objectives energises you most? When do you feel most engaged? When do you feel most happy? When do you feel most content? At what times do you experience most joy in your working day? When do you feel most disengaged? 

Ask yourself what are you doing exactly, where are you doing it and with whom (or are you alone?).


If you're feeling that buzz of excitement, how, where and where do you feel this change in your body? Start focusing inward, bringing your attention (the observing mind) to where you feel these sensations. How would you describe this feeling you're experiencing?


Start to journal, noting when and how these changes are happening and how you would describe your emotional state (happy, sad, content, energised, bored, frightened etc).


Begin to review the reflections that you have made in your journal. Over the course of days and weeks, what patterns are emerging? What are some of the themes that seem to reoccur? Use these reflections and insights to paint a picture of what does (and doesn't!) bring you joy in the world of work (and in your personal life!)

What do your reflections tell you about opportunities - promotions, secondments, volunteer work, re-training, jobs elsewhere that could be meaningful for you?

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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London, EC1A 2BN
Written by Richard Clements, MAC - Interview, Business, Career and Executive Coaching
London, EC1A 2BN

Richard Clements is a workplace coach who helps his experienced and aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs to excel in every aspect of their working life, including identifying and achieving jobs, careers and businesses that bring them joy. For more information visit

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